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Lebanese Shi'ite Ceremony Turns into Cartoon Protest


In Lebanon, hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite Muslims marched through southern Beirut Thursday to commemorate the death of a revered leader and to protest cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The march is an annual event to mark Ashura, when Shi'ites mourn the death of the prophet's grandson, Imam Hussain, more than 1,300 years ago.

Shi'ite mourners dressed in black chanted slogans of allegiance to the Prophet Muhammad, and carried placards denouncing cartoon depictions of him. There were no reports of violence.

Less than a week ago, a Beirut protest against publication of the cartoons in Denmark and other European countries turned into a rampage that left the Danish embassy in flames and dozens injured.

President Bush and Jordan's King Abdullah have called on foreign governments to end the deadly rioting that has spread across the Muslim world after the cartoons.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.